High Points| from El Camino Real

by Chris Davis

Folks along El Camino Real are still cleaning up from the tornadoes and there has been lots of headway made, but we still have a long way to go before we are even close to having things back in order.
I’m going to do my best to catch you up on a few things that you might have missed during this terrible time in our town.
I feel like those tornadoes took the wind out of me and sucked my eyes back in my head.
I told my wife last Thursday that my eyes were finally getting back to normal. Stress can sure make you feel strange.
I’m going to come up with six bits worth of news and we are going to keep right on going like we always do.
It’s always sad when we lose people we care about, but when they pass just before a catastrophic event like the tornadoes, with the power off many people don’t know they are gone.
You don’t get a chance to go to the funeral home and pay your respects like you normally would.
So even though this is a little late, I still want to pay my respects.
Ernie Wolf passed away on April 10 at the age of 69 years. Ernie had lived here in Alto for 36 years and ran a body shop in Rusk for the past 12 years.
He was a good body man and had lots of friends in our community. Please keep his wife Millie and the rest of the family in your prayers as they mourn his loss.
It seems like such a short time ago that we were seeing our friend James Barron on the side of the highway with his TXDOT crew.
James passed away on April 15. He was 69 years old.

He was a pleasant quiet man that was always nice to me. I grew up and was around all the Barron boys most of my life, so it’s sad to see them slip away one by one.
Please keep his family in your prayers during this sad time.

The Reverend Best’s wife Deborah called me a few weeks ago to have me mention their new great granddaughter in the newspaper.
Solace Abigal Clay was born on April 11, in Memphis, Tenn. Her parents are Aaron and Jennifer Clay.
On April 13 the tornado severely damaged the Rev and Mrs. Best’s home and they had to move away.
I don’t know where they are, but I hope they will still get the paper, so they will know that I wrote about their new great-granddaughter and that I have them in my prayers.
My Dad and I attended the Weches Cemetery Homecoming on Sunday and got to visit with lots of old friends and kin folks.
It’s funny that the older we get the more people we know above and below ground at the cemetery homecomings.
It is getting the time of year when cemetery homecomings will be going on just about every weekend.
Where ever you’ve got your family buried you need to remember to help pay for the cemetery upkeep and go to the homecomings to help keep their memory alive.

Sometimes I think I’m kin to as many people over in Houston County as I am over here in Cherokee.
I met Country Willie Edwards several years ago when he was playing country music over at the Liberty Bell in Nacogdoches.
After finishing his set he walked by my table and I told him that I really enjoyed his show.

He stuck out his hand and said, “You’re Chris Davis.”
I said, “I am, but how do you know me?”
He said that he was Willie Edwards from Sardis, Texas.
Sardis isn’t but a skip and a jump across Boxes Creek from Lynches Chapel, so it was almost like we were kin.
He loves farming and history as much as I do, so we struck up a good friendship.
Willie did an Alto Tornado Benefit over at Macklemores in Nacogdoches on Friday night and we loaded up to go over and hear him play.
He is a great musician with a big heart and we really appreciated him thinking of our community.
My tomatoes have survived a hard freeze, a baseball size hail storm, and two tornadoes, so I’ve got high hopes in making a crop.
I don’t think I’ll have any ready in time for the Jacksonville Tomato Festival, but if it was a few weeks later I bet I could give anybody up there a run for their money.

Farming for money might not provide much stress relief, but farming for bragging rights is the best stress reliever there is for me.
We all need some stress relief after what we’ve been through, so I hope you find something you enjoy doing and get busy doing it.
We’ve made it through some pretty bad stuff around here over the years.
We survived the straight line winds in 1989, the wildfires in 2011, and the great army worm invasion of 2018 and we are still here.
We will get things cleaned up, patched up, and be on our way again before you know it, so don’t lose heart.
The state contractor is picking up the fallen trees off the highways and hauling them off as fast as they can.
There has been a steady stream of their big debris hauling trucks going back and forth by my house for over a week and you can already see the results.
It’s going to take time for all the insurance adjusters, SBA people, and other organizations that are trying to help to get everything in place, and then its going to take time to find people to do the work.
We may be looking at blue tarps for a while, but hopefully it will get done quicker than we think.
I don’t think we will ever be able to thank all of the people who came here to help us over the past few weeks, but I hope they know we appreciate everything they did for us.
If you’ve got some news that needs telling just let me know about it.
I’ll see ya next week! And remember, Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.